Former Memphis attorney pleads guilty to wire fraud

Justice Scales and wooden gavel. Justice concept

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A former Memphis attorney has pleaded guilty to a scheme to defraud an estate she was initially hired to do, according to the Justice Department.

Leigh M. Chiles, 49, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud. A federal jury filed an indictment in July 2022, and evidence was heard in court on March 17, 2023.

In September 2018, Chiles was appointed executor of an estate opened in Shelby County Probate Court. Her duties at that time were to collect estate and then distribute it to the heirs and beneficiaries.

The Justice Department said Chiles, in violation of her fiduciary duty, used approximately $124,000 in estate funds between November 2018 and June 2019 to write checks to herself and pay off her personal credit.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 17, 2023. Chiles faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release.

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